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Full text of "A history of Persia"

232                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
O cypress-tree, tyith silver limbs, this colour and scent of thine
Have shamed ttijej scent of the myrtle-plant and the  bloom of the
eglantine.   /
Judge,with t&ine eyes, and set thy foot in the garden fair and free,
And tread'jasmine under thy foot, and the flowers of the Judas-tree.
O joyous and gay is the New Year's Day, and in Shiraz most of all ;
Even the stranger forgets his home, and becomes its willing thrall.
O'er the garden's Egypt, Joseph-like, the fair red rose is King,
And the Zephyr, e'en to the heart of the town, doth the scent of his
raiment bring.
O wonder not if in time of Spring thou dost rouse such jealous)'-,
That the cloud doth weep while the flowrets smile, and all on account
of thee !
If o'er the dead thy feet should tread, those feet so fair and fleet,
No wonder it were if thou should'st hear a voice from his winding
sheet.
Distraction is banned from this our land in the time of our lord the
King,
Save that I am distracted with love, of thee, and men with the songs I
sing.
Hqfiz.—The second of the two great poets of Pars,
Shams-u-Din Mohamed, known by his title of Hafiz,1
was born at the beginning of the fourteenth century—
the exact date is not known—at Shiraz, where he resided
throughout his life. During his youth he was devoted
to pleasure, luxury, and the wine-cup, but, tiring of them
in 'his old age, he became religious and attached to
Sufiism. Unlike Sadi, he was no traveller, having the
typical Persian fear of the sea. Being tempted to visit
India by a pressing invitation to the Court of Mahmud
Shah Bahmani, he travelled to Hormuz and embarked
in one of the royal ships; but he was so sea-sick and
generally upset that he insisted on being allowed to return
to the port. After reaching land he wrote a charming
ode in which the following verse occurs :
The glare of gems confused my sight,
The ocean's roar I ne'er had heard ;
But now that I can feel aright
I freely own how I have erred.
1 This title implies, as already explained, that its bearer knows the Koran by heart.